Exciting new web portal for ESRC Census Programme

Article dated: 1 August 2007

A new web portal has been launched - - providing a significantly enhanced web presence for the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Census Programme, which gives access to census data from 1971 onwards to academics in UK higher and further education. is the central point for the Programme. A wealth of census information - from 1971 through to 2001 - was already presented to the UK academic community through the Census Programme, though in an irregular format which tended to emphasise who was distributing particular data, rather than the breadth of data available. The emphasis has now changed to help users identify the full range of data which can support their work.

Available from

  • for the first time, a census data search facility based on structured metadata
  • details of the 1971-2001 census data available to UK academics
  • an enhanced registration process to gain access to the data
  • overviews of census data which are available to all enquirers
  • and an introduction to the structure of the ESRC Census Programme also gives users the opportunity to register their research outputs online, in accordance with their obligations under the Programme's licence for data use. There is access to aggregate data, the National Statistics Postcode Directory, interaction data, digitised boundary data and microdata, as well as metadata for longitudinal studies covering the whole of the UK. has been developed by a team working at the UK Data Archive at the University of Essex, in conjunction with the Programme's six data support units and the UK census agencies.